861 research outputs found

    Hipparcos preliminary astrometric masses for the two close-in companions to HD 131664 and HD 43848. A brown dwarf and a low mass star

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    [abridged] We attempt to improve on the characterization of the properties (orbital elements, masses) of two Doppler-detected sub-stellar companions to the nearby G dwarfs HD 131664 and HD 43848. We carry out orbital fits to the Hipparcos IAD for the two stars, taking advantage of the knowledge of the spectroscopic orbits, and solving for the two orbital elements that can be determined in principle solely by astrometry, the inclination angle ii and the longitude of the ascending node Ω\Omega. A number of checks are carried out in order to assess the reliability of the orbital solutions thus obtained. The best-fit solution for HD 131664 yields i=55±33i=55\pm33 deg and Ω=22±28\Omega=22\pm28 deg. The resulting inferred true companion mass is then Mc=23−5+26M_c = 23_{-5}^{+26} MJM_J. For \object{HD 43848}, we find i=12±7i=12\pm7 deg and Ω=288±22\Omega=288\pm22 deg, and Mc=120−43+167M_c = 120_{-43}^{+167} MJM_J. Based on the statistical evidence from an FF-test, the study of the joint confidence intervals of variation of ii and Ω\Omega, and the comparison of the derived orbital semi-major axes with a distribution of false astrometric orbits obtained for single stars observed by Hipparcos, the astrometric signal of the two companions to HD 131664 and HD 43848 is then considered detected in the Hipparcos IAD, with a level of statistical confidence not exceeding 95%. We constrain the true mass of HD 131664b to that of a brown dwarf to within a somewhat statistically significant degree of confidence (∼2−σ\sim2-\sigma). For HD 43848b, a true mass in the brown dwarf regime is ruled out at the 1−σ1-\sigma confidence level. [abridged]Comment: 13 pages, 6 figures, 4 tables. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    Effects of XUV radiation on circumbinary planets

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    Several circumbinary planets have recently been discovered. The orbit of a planet around a binary stellar system poses several dynamic constraints. The effects that radiation from the host stars may have on the planet atmospheres must be considered. Because of the configuration of a close binary system, these stars have a high rotation rate, which causes a permanent state of high stellar activity and copious XUV radiation. The accumulated effects are stronger than for exoplanets around single stars, and cause a faster evaporation of their atmospheres. We evaluate the effects that stellar radiation has on the evaporation of exoplanets around binary systems and on the survival of these planets. We considered the XUV spectral range to account for the photons that are easily absorbed by a planet atmosphere that is mainly composed of hydrogen. A more complex atmospheric composition is expected to absorb this radiation more efficiently. We used direct X-ray observations to evaluate the energy in the X-rays range and coronal models to calculate the (nondetectable) EUV part of the spectrum. The simulations show that exoplanets in a close orbit will suffer strong photoevaporation that may cause a total loss of atmosphere in a short time. A binary system of two solar-like stars will be highly efficient in evaporating the atmosphere of the planet. These systems will be difficult to find, even if they are dynamically stable. Still, planets may orbit around binary systems of low mass stars for wider orbits. Currently known circumbinary planets are not substantially affected by thermal photoevaporation processes, unless Kepler-47 b has an inflated atmosphere. The distribution of the orbital periods of circumbinary planets is shifted to much longer periods than the average of Kepler planets, which supports a scenario of strong photoevaporation in close-in circumbinary planets.Comment: Accepted by A&A. 8 pages, 5 figure

    A long-period massive planet around HD106515A

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    We have performed RV monitoring of the components of the binary system HD 106515 over about 11 years using the high resolution spectrograph SARG at TNG. The primary shows long-period radial velocity variations that indicate the presence of a low mass companion whose projected mass is in the planetary regime (m sin i = 9.33 Mjup). The 9.8 years orbit results quite eccentric (e=0.57), as typical for massive giant planets. Our results confirm the preliminary announcement of the planet included in Mayor et al. (2011). The secondary instead does not show significant RV variations. The two components do not differ significantly in chemical composition, as found for other pairs for which one component hosts giant planets. Adaptive optics images obtained with AdOpt@TNG do not reveal additional stellar companions. From the analysis of the relative astrometry of the components of the wide pair we put an upper limit on the mass of the newly detected companion of about 0.25 Msun. State of art or near future instrumentation can provide true mass determination, thanks to the availability of the wide companion HD106515B as reference. Therefore, HD106515Ab will allow deeper insight in the transition region between planets and brown dwarfs.Comment: A&A, accepted, 8 pages, 10 figure

    The first search for variable stars in the open cluster NGC 6253 and its surrounding field

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    This work presents the first high-precision variability survey in the field of the intermediate-age, metal--rich open cluster NGC 6253. Clusters of this type are benchmarks for stellar evolution models. Continuous photometric monitoring of the cluster and its surrounding field was performed over a time span of ten nights using the Wide Field Imager mounted at the ESO-MPI 2.2m telescope. High-quality timeseries, each composed of about 800 datapoints, were obtained for 250,000 stars using ISIS and DAOPHOT packages. Candidate members were selected by using the colour-magnitude diagrams and period-luminosity-colour relations. Membership probabilities based on the proper motions were also used. The membership of all the variables discovered within a radius of 8 arcmin from the centre is discussed by comparing the incidence of the classes in the cluster direction and in the surrounding field. We discovered 595 variables and we also characterized most of them providing their variability classes, periods, and amplitudes. The sample is complete for short periods: we classified 20 pulsating variables, 225 contact systems, 99 eclipsing systems (22 Beta Lyr type, 59 Beta Per type, 18 RS CVn type), and 77 rotational variables. The time-baseline hampered the precise characterization of 173 variables with periods longer than 4-5 days. Moreover, we found a cataclysmic system undergoing an outburst of about 2.5 mag. We propose a list of 35 variable stars (8 contact systems, 2 eclipsing systems, 15 rotational variables, 9 long-period variables and the cataclysmic variable) as probable members of NGC 6253.Comment: Astronomy and Astrophysics, in press. Extended version with tables and light curve

    Gaia: The Astrometry Revolution

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    The power of micro-arcsecond (μ\muas) astrometry is about to be unleashed. ESA's Gaia mission, now headed towards the end of the first year of routine science operations, will soon fulfil its promise for revolutionary science in countless aspects of Galactic astronomy and astrophysics. The potential of Gaia position measurements for important contributions to the astrophysics of planetary systems is huge. We focus here on the expectations for detection and improved characterization of 'young' planetary systems in the neighborhood of the Sun using a combination of Gaia μ\muas astrometry and direct imaging techniques.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, to appear in the Proceedings of IAU Symposium 314 'Young Stars & Planets Near the Sun', held on May 11-15 2015 in Atlanta (GA), USA (J. H. Kastner, B. Stelzer, & S. A. Metchev, eds.

    SPOTS: The Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars: II. First constraints on the frequency of sub-stellar companions on wide circumbinary orbits

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    A large number of direct imaging surveys for exoplanets have been performed in recent years, yielding the first directly imaged planets and providing constraints on the prevalence and distribution of wide planetary systems. However, like most of the radial velocity ones, these surveys generally focus on single stars, hence binaries and higher-order multiples have not been studied to the same level of scrutiny. This motivated the SPOTS (Search for Planets Orbiting Two Stars) survey, which is an ongoing direct imaging study of a large sample of close binaries, started with VLT/NACO and now continuing with VLT/SPHERE. To complement this survey, we have identified the close binary targets in 24 published direct imaging surveys. Here we present our statistical analysis of this combined body of data. We analysed a sample of 117 tight binary systems, using a combined Monte Carlo and Bayesian approach to derive the expected values of the frequency of companions, for different values of the companion's semi-major axis. Our analysis suggest that the frequency of sub-stellar companions in wide orbit is moderately low (≲\lesssim 13% with a best value of 6% at 95% confidence level) and not significantly different between single stars and tight binaries. One implication of this result is that the very high frequency of circumbinary planets in wide orbits around post-common envelope binaries, implied by eclipse timing (up to 90% according to Zorotovic & Schreiber 2013), can not be uniquely due to planets formed before the common-envelope phase (first generation planets), supporting instead the second generation planet formation or a non-Keplerian origin of the timing variations.Comment: 21 pages, 3 figure
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